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Human Rights Vi Form

  1. 1. <ul><li>1 Introduction to Human Rights </li></ul><ul><li>2 The Nature of Human Rights </li></ul><ul><li>3 Human rights violations </li></ul><ul><li>4 Refugees and Human Rights </li></ul><ul><li>5 Indigenous peoples and Human rights </li></ul><ul><li>6 Conclusions </li></ul>Unit 2 Human Rights
  2. 2. 1 Introduction to Human Rights <ul><li>Identifying human rights issues </li></ul><ul><li>The Universal Declaration of Human Rights </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Negative’ rights </li></ul><ul><li>The European Convention </li></ul><ul><li>Categorizing the rights </li></ul><ul><li>Making connections between the rights </li></ul><ul><li>The Rights of the Child </li></ul>
  3. 3. What have these news stories got to do with human rights? Identifying human rights Think about some of the issues that are often seen in the news today… … and try to define what a human right is in a sentence. A patient in the UK is refused medical treatment because it is too expensive A terrorist suspect is detained without any charges being brought A woman wins compensation after being subjected to sexual harassment and lack of promotion at work Children working in a clothing factory in India are paid less than $1 a day Armed conflict breaks out in the Middle East between Israel and her neighbours Christians are banned from having bibles or building churches in some countries A woman and her children are deported from the UK because their asylum application failed Smoking is banned in Ireland in all pubs and restaurants
  4. 4. The Universal Declaration <ul><li>You probably already know the main human rights. </li></ul><ul><li>See how many you can list. </li></ul><ul><li>(The news stories on the previous page may help you to get started) </li></ul>The definitive list of human rights is to be found in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. When you have made your own list, you can look up the official list on The Universal Declaration on Human Rights contains 3O articles. Within these articles you should be able to identify approximately 30 individual human rights. Over 300 different language versions are available. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (also UDHR ) is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (A/RES/217, December 10 1948 at the Palais de Chaillot, Paris), outlining the organization's view on the human rights guaranteed to all people. It was referred to by Eleanor Roosevelt as &quot;a Magna Carta for all mankind.&quot;
  5. 5. The ‘Negative’ Rights <ul><li>A number of the human rights can only be expressed in the negative, as the right to ‘freedom from’. For example, a key ‘negative’ right in the Universal Declaration is the right not to be subjected to slavery. </li></ul><ul><li>Identify other negative rights. </li></ul><ul><li>The right not to be subjected to torture </li></ul><ul><li>The right not to be subjected to discrimination </li></ul><ul><li>The right not to be subjected to arbitrary arrest </li></ul><ul><li>The right not to subjected to detention without charge </li></ul>
  6. 6. The European Constitution <ul><li>A measure of the influence of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is that its proclamation in Paris in 1948 was closely followed by a declaration in Rome in 1950 from the members of the European Community, called the European Convention on Human Rights. </li></ul><ul><li>The European Convention on Human Rights was incorporated into English law in 1998. </li></ul><ul><li>The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is simply a declaration. No nations actually sign up to it. It is not a treaty or a legal document. </li></ul><ul><li>The European Convention on Human Rights is legally binding once it has been incorporated into a nation’s legal system or constitution. </li></ul><ul><li>The first 14 articles of the convention contain a list of the main human rights. </li></ul><ul><li>It is backed up by the European Court of Human Rights, an ultimate court of appeal for citizens of the European Union who feel that their human rights have been violated. </li></ul>You can find a copy of the European Convention at Compare the European Convention with the Universal Declaration.
  7. 7. Organizing rights into categories physical cultural religious civil / political social economic legal personal
  8. 8. Organizing human rights: a suggestion physical Life Food (water) Clothing Shelter Medical care Security cultural Education religious Religion Public practice of religion civil / political Liberty Asylum Nationality Free speech Free assembly and association Vote Trade union social Marriage Family economic Property Work Safety at work Equal pay Fair wage legal Legal protection Fair trial personal Privacy Conscience Rest, leisure and holidays Movement
  9. 9. Making connections between the rights physical Life Food (water) Clothing Shelter Medical care Security cultural Education religious Religion Public practice of religion civil / political Liberty Asylum Nationality Free speech Free assembly and association Vote Trade union social Marriage Family economic Property Work Safety at work Equal pay Fair wage legal Legal protection Fair trial personal Privacy Conscience Rest, leisure and holidays Movement
  10. 10. The Rights of the Child <ul><li>On 20 November 1959, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights published the ‘Convention on the Rights of the Child’. The rights of the child are promoted by a United Nations organization called UNICEF. UNICEF’s mission is to work for the protection of children’s rights throughout the world. The work of UNICEF is guided by the principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. </li></ul><ul><li>The Convention states that the Rights of the Child are founded on respect for the dignity and worth of each individual, regardless of race, colour, gender, language, religion, opinions, origins, wealth, birth, status or ability. </li></ul><ul><li>The convention is a legally binding instrument of international law. </li></ul><ul><li>To find out more, see </li></ul>Why do children need a separate statement of rights? Which rights are particularly relevant for children?
  11. 11. <ul><li>Which of the human rights are the ones most relevant to you at this stage in your life? </li></ul><ul><li>Which rights are going to become more important to you over the next five years? </li></ul><ul><li>Living in the UK, can you envisage any of your human rights ever being threatened or violated? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there a set of rights which should come first, before all the others? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there one right which is more important than all the others? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there any one of the human rights that you would be prepared to relinquish or do without? </li></ul>Personal response to human rights
  12. 12. <ul><li>Jot down the first words that come into your head </li></ul><ul><li>Describe how the picture makes you feel </li></ul>On what are your attitudes based? Pause for reflection How can the concept of human rights help to analyse and respond to this image?
  13. 13. 2 The Nature of Human Rights <ul><li>So we think we know our human rights. Do we know exactly what they are or where they come from? </li></ul><ul><li>Human rights were not suddenly invented from nowhere in 1948. Human rights have a history. </li></ul><ul><li>Research task: </li></ul><ul><li>Carry out an internet search on the history of human rights. </li></ul><ul><li>What key documents does the internet search direct you to? </li></ul>
  14. 14. Why are these regarded as significant documents in the development of human rights? What do they have in common? The history of human rights 1 In researching the early history of thinking about human rights, you may come across the following… All these sources are from ancient and medieval times The Cyrus Cylinder The Code of Hammurabi The Edicts of Akosha The Laws of Solon The Ten Commandments The Laws of Manu The Analects of Confucius The Codex of Justinian The Magna Carta The Qur’an
  15. 15. The history of human rights 2 <ul><li>Two key figures in the development of thinking about human rights are St.Augustine (354 – 430) and St.Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 1275). </li></ul><ul><li>St.Augustine and St.Thomas Aquinas are two of the most influential thinkers in the development of western civilisation. </li></ul><ul><li>St.Augustine and St.Thomas Aquinas are both referred to as ‘Doctors of the Church’ because they made such a significant contribution to Roman Catholic theology and philosophy. </li></ul>St.Augustine’s most famous and influential work is called ‘The City of God’. St.Augustine combines the Roman legal tradition of ‘natural rights’ and the importance of the rule of law, with the Christian tradition of love of neighbour and duty towards others. Respect for rights and duties flows from our love of God. St.Thomas Aquinas’ most famous and influential work is called the ‘Summa Theologica’. St.Thomas develops the Greek and Roman idea of ‘Natural Law’ and gives it a strong Christian theological framework. God has written a universal moral law into the human conscience. Human rights are part of being human.
  16. 16. Why are these regarded as significant documents in the development of human rights? What do they have in common? The history of human rights 3 A significant development in secular thinking about human rights took place in the 17 th and 18 th centuries: All these writings are associated with new political ideas in Britain, France and America John Locke Two Treatises of Government 1680 1690 Thomas Hobbes Leviathan 1660 British Bill of Rights 1689 David Hume Essays Moral and Political 1741 Edmund Burke A Vindication of Natural Society 1756 Jean-Jacques Rousseau The Social Contract 1762 French Declaration of the Rights of Man 1789 American Bill of Rights 1789 Thomas Paine the Rights of Man 1791 -2 John Stuart Mill Essay on Liberty 1859 American Declaration of Independence 1776
  17. 17. Human Rights in the Old Testament 1 The term ‘human rights’ is not part of the thinking of the Old Testament, but many people have seen the Genesis account of the creation as providing western civilisation with one of its first and greatest statements on human dignity and the value of human life. Read Genesis 1: 26 -28 What does this tell us about the God-given rights of human beings? If human beings are made in the image of God, why do they have special dignity? What aspects of God are reflected in human life? Read Genesis 3; 1-7 What dimensions of the human person are highlighted in this passage?
  18. 18. Human Rights in the Old Testament 2 We have seen that many ancient civilisations and cultures developed systems of rules or laws. One of the most influential sets of rules or laws in western civilisation has been the Ten Commandments. The Book of Exodus describes the encounter between Moses and God which takes place on Mount Sinai. Moses returns to his people with a gift from God, the ‘Decalogue’. Read Exodus 20: 7 -1 7 Turn the ten commandments into a list of human rights. Inspired by their belief in God’s love of his people, the great prophets of the Old Testament often spoke out against examples of injustice and oppression. Read Micah 3: 1-11 Read Amos 4:1 5:11-12 8: 4-6 What human rights issues were of concern to the Old Testament prophets Micah and Amos?
  19. 19. Jesus Christ and Human Rights 1 Jesus Christ did not teach about human rights. However, in his dealings with the people he met, Jesus could be giving a wonderful example of the values which must underpin human rights. Read Luke 7: 1-10 The Centurion’s Servant Read Luke 13: 10 – 17 The Crippled Woman Read Luke 19: 1-10 Zacchaeus What values does Jesus highlight which must underpin human rights?
  20. 20. Jesus Christ and Human Rights 2 The parables of Jesus Christ are some of the most influential stories ever told. We can think of them as teachings about human duties, as well as teachings about human rights and human dignity. Read Luke 16: 19 – 31 The Rich Man and Lazarus Read Luke 12: 13-34 The Rich Fool Read Luke 10: 30 37 The Good Samaritan What human duties is Jesus highlighting for us in these parables?
  21. 21. Catholic Teaching on Human Rights Official Catholic teaching on the social issues of the modern world really began with Pope Leo XIII, who published a document entitled Rerum Novarum in 1891. The purpose of Leo’s document was to insist that ordinary working people had the right to receive a just wage and to be allowed to join together to form trade unions. After the publication of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, official Catholic teaching was quick to endorse the spirit and the content of the document and to recommend to all people of good will throughout the world that they should support the principles of human rights and the work of the United Nations. In 1963 Pope John XXIII published an official church document called ‘ Pacem in Terris’ or ‘Peace on Earth’. You can read Pacem in Terris on pacem _it.html
  22. 22. Catholic approaches to Human Rights Questions for discussion: Has the Catholic Church got something vital and distinctive to contribute to the concept of human rights, justice and peace? Should the Catholic Church be taking a leading role in speaking out on issues to do with human rights, justice and peace? Should individual Catholics be engaging in issues to do with human rights, justice and peace? Pope John Paul II provided some useful reflection on these issues in 1987 in Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, (‘Social Concern’) chapter 41
  23. 23. 40 Topics discussed in Pacem in Terris Take one of these topics and write a brief summary of what it is saying about human rights How should a Christian respond in a practical way to what is being proposed here? United Nations 142, 145 36 40 39 38 37 35 34 33 32 31 30 29 28 27 26 25 24 23 22 21 Workers’ rights 40 Women’s rights 41 War 126 Universal Declaration 143 Technology 130 Social classes 43 Ruling authorities 46-48 Rights of the state 86, 92 Relations between states 80 Refugees 103-108 Racial discrimination 44, 86 Political independence 42 Personal freedom 34, 120 Peace 113-116 Participation 73-74 Nuclear warfare 111, 127 Love 37,129 List of human rights 11-27 Legal framework 68 Human duties 29-30 16 20 19 18 17 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Laws of nature 6 Justice 69, 91 Jesus Christ 10,117,121,169 Human nature 9 God 38, 45-51 Globalisation 130-131 Ethnic minorities 94-100 Duties of government 62-65 Dignity 10,20,44,79 Developing countries 121-124 Democracy 52 Constitution 76 Conscience 5 Common good 54-60 130-139 Clashes between states 93 Christians in public life 146 Christian unity 157 Charter of rights 75 Arms race 109-112
  24. 24. The Catechism of the Catholic Church on Human Rights The Catechism of the Catholic Church is an official summary of the Catholic faith. It contains Catholic teaching on a wide variety of topics, including the concept of human rights. In Catholic teaching, human rights are part of the dignity of the human person. Social justice will be achieved if we respect the dignity of the human person. The dignity of the human person and its connection with human rights is explained in the Catechism in paragraphs 1929 to 1938. You can read the Catechism on catechism /ccc_toc.htm
  25. 25. The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church In 2004 the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace published the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. This book is divided into 12 chapters. The whole of Chapter Three is devoted to the topic of The Human Person and Human Rights. You can read a summary of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church on The Compendium discusses human rights under the topics of: Human beings made in the image of God The tragedy of sin and the reality of salvation Human nature and human dignity Freedom, equality and natural law The value of human rights The social nature of human beings Human rights and human duties On which of these areas would today’s culture find it easy to agree with Catholic Social Teaching on human rights? On which of these areas would today’s culture find it very difficult to agree with Catholic Social Teaching?
  26. 26. 3 Human Rights Violations <ul><li>The Second World War </li></ul><ul><li>Genocide since 1948 </li></ul><ul><li>Armed conflict since 1948 </li></ul><ul><li>Land mines since 1948 </li></ul><ul><li>Political oppression since 1948 </li></ul>
  27. 27. Human Rights Violations: The Second World War One of the main reasons that the nations of the world decided it was time to draw up a list of human rights in 1948 was because of the trauma of the Second World War and during which so many human rights violations were carried out by the Nazi regime. Pause for a moment and try to list the atrocities carried out in the name of the Nazi regime Bombing of civilians Murder of homosexuals Murder of political opponents Torture during interrogation Abuse of prisoners of war Persecution of Christians and of Jehovah’s Witnesses Mass murder of gypsies Arrest without trial Arrest and execution without trial Mass murder of resistance fighters Involuntary euthanasia of the sick and elderly Cruel medical experimentation without consent Mass deportation Murder of 6 million Jews Slave labour Confiscation of property
  28. 28. Human Rights Violations: The Second World War and the Nuremberg Trials After the Second World War the victorious allies decided to set up war crimes trials in the form of an International Military Tribunal. This was held in the city of Nuremberg, which had been a very important place in the celebration of Nazism. At Nuremberg 22 high level Nazis were put on trial. This was the first time that human rights violations committed by those waging aggressive wars were prosecuted. The prosecutions included the planning of atrocities by high government officials. The Nazi leaders were tried according to the accepted principles of law. The Nuremberg trials effectively established that planning, preparing and initiating aggressive war constitutes an international crime. It also established that atrocities were not just the responsibility of the person actually committing them. They were the responsibility of the highest government officials who ordered or planned them. You can find out more about the Nuremberg war trials on To discuss: What exactly do we mean by a ‘crime against humanity’?
  29. 29. Human Rights Violations: The Second World War and Genocide <ul><li>Since the Second World War there have been three major acts of genocide which have shocked the world: </li></ul><ul><li>The genocide in the South East Asia country of Cambodia, committed by the regime of Pol Pot. This took place between 1975 and 1979. It is believed that 2 million people died in this genocide. This genocide is portrayed in the film ‘The Killing Fields’, made in 1984 and directed by Roland Joffe. </li></ul><ul><li>The genocide committed in the former Yugoslavia, involving the people of Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia and Kosovo. A violent conflict involving ethnic and religious differences raged for three years, from 1992 to 1995, in which it is estimated over 200,000 people died. </li></ul><ul><li>The genocide in the African country of Rwanda, committed by the Hutu tribes and the Tutsi tribes, who turned on each other in April 1994. </li></ul><ul><li>This genocide is portrayed in the film ‘Hotel Rwanda’, (2004) directed by Terry George. </li></ul><ul><li>You can find out more about the genocides of the 20 th century on </li></ul><ul><li>http:// </li></ul>To discuss: Why was the international community not able to prevent these acts of genocide?
  30. 30. Human Rights Violations: Genocide and the Trial of Saddam Hussein During the 1980s there was a war between Iraq and Iran. In March 1988, during a major battle between Iraq and Iran, chemical weapons were used by the Iraqi government forces to kill a number of people in the Iraqi Kurdish town of Halabja. Estimates of casualties range from several hundred to 7,000 people. Almost all accounts of the incident regard Iraq as responsible for this gas attack. It is the largest-scale use of chemical weapons against civilians in modern times. Saddam Hussein’s regime was toppled in 2003 and Saddam Hussein was captured by American forces. The trial of Saddam Hussein began in October 2005. The trial of Saddam Hussein is an important landmark in the development of international criminal law. The transitional government of Iraq has incorporated genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity into the Iraqi national legal system.  It also established a special court which has the task of investigating, prosecuting, and trying Saddam Hussein and other members of his regime for these international crimes and for certain other national crimes. You can find out more about the trial of Saddam Hussein on http:// / To discuss: Is it possible for Saddam Hussein to receive a fair trial?
  31. 31. Human Rights Violations: Armed conflict since 1948 Korean War 1950 - 1953 US Afghanistan 2001 - present Bosnian War 1992 - 1995 Nigeria Civil War 1967 - 1970 Russia Afghanistan 1979 - 1988 Angola Civil War 1975 - 2002 Falklands War 1982 War in Vietnam 1946 - 1975 First Gulf War 1991 Iraq – Iran War 1980 - 1988 Second Gulf War 2003 - present Somalia Civil War 1977 - 2006 Ethiopia - Eritrea 1974 - 1993 Arab – Israel Conflict 1948 - present Democratic Republic of Congo 1998 - 2003 Chechen War 1994 - present The First World War (1914-1918) was famously expected to be ‘the war to end all wars’. Only 20 years later the world was engulfed by another global conflict which raged for 6 years. The shock of the Second World War gave rise to a huge desire for world-wide justice and peace, seen in the creation of the United Nations Organization and the production of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, wars have continued to take their toll on humanity, always involving the death of innocent civilians and the large-scale abuse of human rights. Find out about the causes of one of these conflicts and report your findings back to the class.
  32. 32. Human Rights Violations: The Arab – Israeli Conflict One of the most protracted conflicts in modern history is the conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbours. The modern history of Israel is very complicated. The creation of the modern state of Israel came about largely as a result of the terrible sufferings inflicted on the Jewish people during the Second World War. The State of Israel was proclaimed on May 14, 1948 and Israel was admitted as a member of the United Nations on May 11, 1949. The creation of the state of Israel and the resulting violent conflicts over the years have resulted in the displacement of large numbers of the Palestinian people. There have been many attempts at peace settlements. The latest flare-up of violence took place in 2006, with armed conflict taking place between Hezbollah guerillas in Southern Lebanon and Israeli armed forces. To discuss: What issues in Pacem in Terris does the Arab-Israeli conflict raise? For a pro-Palestinian analysis of the conflict, go to For a pro-Israeli analysis of the conflict, go to
  33. 33. Human Rights Violations: The Arms Trade <ul><li>It is difficult to talk about war, peace and human rights without referring to the arms trade. </li></ul><ul><li>$21 billion per year spent by governments on arms. </li></ul><ul><li>There are 639 million small arms in the world, or one for every ten people, produced by over 1,000 companies in at least 98 countries. 60% of small arms are in civilian hands. </li></ul><ul><li>8 million more small arms are produced every year. </li></ul><ul><li>16 billion units of ammunition are produced each year - more than two new bullets for every man, woman and child on the planet. </li></ul><ul><li>More than 500,000 people on average are killed with conventional arms every year: one person every minute. </li></ul><ul><li>In World War One, 14 per cent of total casualties were civilian. In World War Two this grew to 67 per cent. In some of today’s conflicts the figure is even higher. </li></ul><ul><li>There are 300,000 child soldiers involved in conflicts. </li></ul><ul><li>One third of countries spend more on the military than they do on health-care services. </li></ul><ul><li>An average of US$22 billion a year is spent on arms by countries in Africa, Asia, Middle East and Latin America. Half of this amount would enable every girl and boy in those regions to go to primary school. </li></ul><ul><li>In Africa, economic losses due to war are about $15 billion per year. </li></ul><ul><li>For more arms trade facts see </li></ul><ul><li>http:// </li></ul>To discuss: What responsibility do the rich countries bear for ‘third world’ conflicts?
  34. 34. Human Rights Violations: Landmines <ul><li>Landmines… </li></ul><ul><li>one of the hidden and often forgotten consequences of war and armed conflict </li></ul><ul><li>are to be found in some of the poorest and least developed countries in the world </li></ul><ul><li>do not discriminate between who they injure or kill. They are triggered by a footfall </li></ul><ul><li>do not recognise a ceasefire, but continue to work long after the war or conflict has ceased </li></ul><ul><li>cause blindness, burns, wounds and loss of limbs. They are designed to injure, not kill </li></ul><ul><li>have caused hundreds of thousands of casualties around the world </li></ul><ul><li>kill livestock and wild animals and destroy the environment, polluting the soil and water supply </li></ul><ul><li>kill peacekeepers, aid workers and medical personnel </li></ul><ul><li>affect more than 80 countries worldwide and every region of the world </li></ul><ul><li>injure or kill approximately 20,000 people per year, including 8,000 children </li></ul><ul><li>are estimated at 50 million in the ground in the world today </li></ul><ul><li>cost $3 to make and $1000 to remove </li></ul><ul><li>prevent farming, economic growth and reconstruction </li></ul><ul><li>last forever and are still being cleared from the Second World War </li></ul><ul><li>For more information on landmines see http:// </li></ul>To discuss: Should we allow landmines to be produced, or should they be banned?
  35. 35. Human Rights Violations: Political Oppression The Universal Declaration of Human Rights envisages a society in which governments respect the human rights of their citizens and do everything they can to promote the welfare of all members of their society. This was the vision endorsed by Pope John XXIII in Pacem in Terris. There is a general consensus today that democracy is the form of government best suited to the protection and promotion of respect for citizens’ rights. What are the differences between a democracy and a tyranny or dictatorship? Can you name the dictators and tyrants of the 20 th century? Can you name any countries in the world today where there is no democracy? Freedom of movement, assembly and association Freedom of speech Press and media free from government control Free and fair elections Non-political armed forces Independent judiciary Rule of law Democracy Citizens cannot go where they want or meet together Citizens are not allowed to speak out to criticise the rulers Newspapers, television and radio are censored or controlled Elections are non existent or there is only one candidate Armed forces are there to back up the ruling authority Judges are loyal to the ruling authority The ruling authority is able to ignore the legal system Tyranny or Dictatorship
  36. 36. Human Rights Violations: Political Oppression and Torture One of the most distressing aspects of dictatorships and tyrannies is their tendency to use torture. Torture is one of the most widespread abuses of human rights in the world today. The United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment is an international human rights document, published by the United Nations and intended to prevent torture. There is a UN Committee Against Torture, which tries to work with the leaders of different countries. UNCAT came into force in June 1987 and 141 countries have subscribed to it. You can find out more about the issue of torture at http:// Try to find out: What is the definition of torture? What forms does torture take? Which countries in the world today are associated with torture? What can be the long term effects of torture? Which organisations are working to prevent torture? To discuss: Has the United States been guilty of torture in its pursuit of the ‘war on terror’?
  37. 37. 4 Refugees and Human Rights To discuss : ‘Britain has not got room for any more refugees’ Think about some of these preliminary questions concerning refugees: … and try to define the term refugee in a sentence. Do you feel sorry for refugees? What words and phrases come to mind when you hear the term refugee? Is a refugee the same thing as an asylum seeker? Is a refugee the same thing as an ‘economic migrant’? Are you prejudiced against refugees? What is your typical mental image of a refugee? What rights have refugees got? What would cause someone to become a refugee?
  38. 38. Can you connect the issue of refugees with the teaching presented so far in this unit? Human rights The United Nations and the Universal Declaration The mission of Jesus Christ Human duties Catholic Social Teaching Old Testament teaching
  39. 39. Can you connect the issue of refugees with the teaching presented so far in this unit? Human rights A refugee has the same rights as everybody else, by virtue of the fact that the refugee is a human person. Human rights are not just for some people, but for everybody. The United Nations and the Universal Declaration The United Nations has the power and prestige to work with the issue of refugees and can use the Declaration to remind governments of human rights. The mission of Jesus Christ Jesus Christ did not discriminate but treated all people with equal respect and compassion. He often reached out to vulnerable people, to strangers and to people who were not Jewish. He taught us to love our neighbours and even our enemies. Human duties We all have a duty to uphold the human rights of others. We should not just be concerned to fight for our own rights. We should be concerned when others have had their human rights taken away from them. Catholic Social Teaching In Pacem in Terris (103) John XXIII speaks with concern and compassion about the plight of refugees and displaced persons. He defends the right of asylum and even the right to economic migration. Old Testament teaching The Ten Commandments taught us to love our neighbour as ourselves. The prophets of the Old Testament showed great concern for the poor and vulnerable of society.
  40. 40. Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees On 28 July 1951 the United Nations Commission on Human Rights put forward a Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees . The Convention was officially adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 22 April 1954. The structure of the convention is as follows: Chapter I Articles 1 – 11 Definitions of refugees Chapter II Articles 11 – 16 Juridical Status Chapter III Articles 17 – 19 Employment Chapter IV Articles 20 – 24 Welfare To read the Convention, see http:// What are the three main issues or problems facing refugees?
  41. 41. What exactly is meant by ‘the right to political asylum’? Causes of refugees Think about some of the issues already discussed, and how these can be the cause of the refugee problem… … and try to identify the single most significant cause of the refugee problem. landmines war and armed conflict political oppression and dictatorship torture genocide poverty and starvation environmental destruction child soldiers
  42. 42. Where are the refugees from? Serbia Burundi Iraq Chechnya Afghanistan Angola Lebanon Palestinian territories Bangladesh Somalia Rwanda Ethiopia Burma Congo Eritrea Sudan Refugees do not just appear at random. In different years and different decades, refugees vary in terms of the countries from which they are fleeing. Can you guess which are the main groups of refugees at the moment? You can get help from http:// /section/where What does the list of countries tell us about the causes of refugees?
  43. 43. Working with refugees: CAFOD Making a difference: refugees in Serbia Lastavica was set up in 1996 on the outskirts of the Serbian capital, Belgrade, to improve the employment opportunities of women refugees, internally displaced people and local people on low incomes after the war in the former Yugoslavia. Its 500 members take part in income-generating projects such as knitting, weaving, chicken rearing and catering. The women also attend educational courses including computing, English and weaving workshops. A catering service run by Lastavica has been a huge success, providing food for conferences, meetings and celebrations. Radmila Servic, a Serbian refugee from Baranja in Croatia who has found work with Lastavica, said, “I read about Lastavica in the newspaper for refugees. I didn’t want to be lonely and alone, and I like being with people. Here at Lastavica I’m going to look after the chickens and I’m going to help with the baking and cooking.” Photography: Simon Rawles Radmila Servic is a Croatian living in a centre for women refugees, Serbia To find out more about CAFOD’s work with Serbian refugees go to
  44. 44. Working with refugees: UNHCR Protecting the world's vulnerable people There are 19.2 million uprooted people in the world today. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was established on December 14, 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another state, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country. In more than five decades, the agency has helped an estimated 50 million people restart their lives. The UNHCR uses the 1951 Geneva Refugee Convention to stand up for the basic human rights of vulnerable persons and to make sure that refugees are not returned against their will to a country where they face persecution. To find out more about the work of UNHCR go to http://
  45. 45. Working with refugees: The Jesuit Refugee Service Jesuit Refugee Service is an international Catholic non-governmental organisation, which works in over 50 countries worldwide. Its aim is to serve and defend the rights of refugees and displaced people.  In the UK the JRS provides support and legal aid for all asylum seekers from when they first arrive in the UK until their case has been resolved.  JRS UK does not work on its own but links with other Church and secular organisations, voluntary and governmental, which also work with refugees.  JRS gets inspiration for its work from Catholic Social Teaching on justice and the dignity of the human person. JRS was set up in 1980 by Fr Pedro Arrupe SJ, then General of the Society of Jesus, as a spiritual and practical response to the plight of refugees at that time. JRS makes it a priority to help displaced people whose needs are urgent and who are unattended by others, JRS offers a human and pastoral service to refugees and the communities who host them through a wide range of rehabilitation and relief activities. Its work includes pastoral care, education for children and adults, social services, counselling, and health care, all tailored to meet local needs according to available resources. To find out more about the work of the Jesuit Refugee Service go to http:// Image taken from Jesuit Refugee Service web-site
  46. 46. Working with refugees: Some more agencies for investigation Relief International See http:// Association of Jewish Refugees See http:// Human Rights Watch See http:// Refugees International See http:// Amnesty International See http:// The Refugee Study Centre See http://
  47. 47. Some refugee facts <ul><li>78% of refugees come from ten countries: Afghanistan, Angola, Burma, Burundi, Congo, Eritrea, Iraq, Palestine, Somalia and Sudan. </li></ul><ul><li>25% of all refugees worldwide are Palestinians. The plight of the Palestinians is the world’s most long-standing refugee problem. </li></ul><ul><li>86% of refugees are from developing countries </li></ul><ul><li>45% of refugees are in Asia </li></ul><ul><li>30% of refugees are in Africa </li></ul><ul><li>19% of refugees are in Europe </li></ul><ul><li>5% of refugees are in the USA </li></ul><ul><li>22% of refugees are internally displaced within their own country </li></ul><ul><li>There were 14.9 million refugees worldwide in 2001 </li></ul><ul><li>Source: Human Rights Watch </li></ul>
  48. 48. Catholic statements on refugees From http:// What the Church says about... Refugees and asylum seekers Comments and statements from the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales 13 December 2004 Statement on Migration from the Churches Refugee Network 26 November 2004 The Dispossessed: Church issues guide on refugees and immigrants 09 November 2004 Bishop O'Donoghue Welcomes Critical Detention Centre Report 04 June 2004 Statement by Bishop Patrick O'Donoghue for Refugee Week (JUNE 14-20, 2004) 30 April 2004 The European Common Good 16 December 2003 Statement from Bishop Patrick O'Donoghue on the asylum and immigration bill 2003 10 June 2003 Catholic Bishop speaks out against 'draconian deterrence measures against refugees' 1 May 2003 Towards a fair, efficient and humane asylum system statement of the 2003 Low Week meeting of the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales 30 January 2003 Say 'no' to generalised attacks on asylum seekers, says Catholic bishop
  49. 49. 5 Indigenous peoples and human rights To discuss : ‘Britain has not got any indigenous peoples’ Think about the term ‘indigenous’: … and try to define the term indigenous in a sentence. The plants or trees that belong naturally to that area ‘ indigenous species’ ‘ indigenous people’ eg ‘indigenous plants or trees’ ‘ native’ The animals that belong naturally to that area The people that belong naturally to that country or region ‘ belonging naturally’
  50. 50. Defining the term ‘indigenous’ <ul><li>A people might be described as indigenous because </li></ul><ul><li>They have ‘always’ lived in a particular area and the area was then colonized or invaded or taken over by another group, probably a group of people more powerful or more technologically advanced than them. </li></ul><ul><li>They have ‘always’ lived in a particular area and in more modern times a nation-state or country has been artificially created with official boundaries which include their area and they have ended up living in a separate cultural group within the state or country or nation </li></ul><ul><li>They are so independent and isolated from the rest of the modern world that they do not really belong to a modern nation state or country and are not really subject to the normal workings of a government. </li></ul><ul><li>An indigenous people would have to have some sort of distinctive cultural identity which might manifest itself in their language and social customs. </li></ul><ul><li>We would expect them to refer to themselves or be aware of themselves as indigenous people and to be referred to or generally accepted by others as such. </li></ul>
  51. 51. Examples of indigenous people Look at the three main definitions again and see if you can think of examples of each category 1. Original inhabitants who have been victims of colonization Historical note: The exploration of the ‘New World’ of the Americas in the 15 th and 16 th centuries resulted in cultural conflict and the intentional or unintentional displacement or devastation of indigenous peoples. 2. Peoples swallowed up into artificially created modern states 3. Peoples isolated from the rest of the modern world The Maya in Central America, the Aborigines in Australia, the Maori in New Zealand, the native Americans in the USA and Canada. There are very few of these left, but there are some rain forest tribes in South America and there is also a people called the Sentinelese in the Andama islands. The Kurdish people, some of whom have ended up in the modern state of Iraq, while others live over the border in the modern state of Turkey.
  52. 52. The issue of indigenous people So how big is this issue of indigenous people? Geographicalnote: Indigenous peoples tend to be non-urban and non-industrial. They could be settled but they could be nomadic. They’re likely to live off the land in some way. The term ‘indigenous peoples’ could be applied to approximately 400 million people worldwide. That’s 6% of the world’s population. Why might they be endangered or threatened with extinction? They include over 5000 different peoples in over 72 countries of the world. They might have been forced to move from their original land or area The environment in their land or area might have been badly damaged or destroyed so that they can no longer carry on their traditional way of life Their language and culture might be disappearing because of the great strength of the dominant language culture and the lack of interest from their own younger generation
  53. 53. The indigenous peoples of the British Isles The term indigenous peoples could be illustrated by asking who are the original inhabitants of the British isles. This raises the question, ‘How far back do you go? The British Isles were last invaded or colonized by the Normans in the 11 th century. Before that, Britain was invaded by the Vikings in the 8 th , 9 th and 10 th centuries. Before that, Britain was invaded or colonized by the Anglo-Saxons in the 5 th , 6 th and 7 th centuries. Before that, Britain was invaded by the Romans, in the 1 st century. They stayed until the 5 th century. When the Romans arrived in Britain, they found Britain to be ruled by a number of different tribes, such as the Iceni, the Durotriges, the Brigantes and the Trinovantes. The dominant tribe was the Catuvellauni, but all the tribes had a common ancestry in the Belgae, a tribe who had come over to Britain from the continent. They were a Celtic people, with their own recognisable Celtic language, customs, culture and religion. Because the Roman culture was so dominant, the Celtic culture became marginalised and the Celtic people were pushed to the ‘edges’ of the British Isles, in Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Have the Scottish, Welsh and Irish managed to preserve their own distinct identity, culture, language, customs and religion? If so, how have they done this? Do the English like to think of themselves as superior to these groups? If so, why?
  54. 54. Indigenous peoples around the world Aborigines 2,4% of Australia’s population The Tuareg people live in the Sahara There are approx 1 million native Americans or ‘First Nations’ in Canada There are approx 3 million native Americans in the US 1.5% of the US population including 563 different tribes The Basques in Spain regard themselves as an indigenous people In India there are 60 million ‘tribals’ or members of ‘scheduled tribes’. They comprise 8% of India’s population. The ‘Sami’ regard themselves as the indigenous people of Northern Scandinavia The Maori people 15% of new Zealand’s population 30% of the Mexican people are the indigenous Mayan people. In the area of Chiapas, almost 100% of the people are indigenous Mayans. South America: 70% of the people of Bolivia, and 50% of the people of Peru and Guatemala are indigenous ‘Andean-Amazonian natives’ In Africa it is difficult to identify or define the indigenous people. The ‘Pigmy’ people regard themselves as indigenous. In Papua New Guinea there are over 700 different indigenous tribes. The Inuit are a vulnerable indigenous people in Alaska
  55. 55. Attitudes towards indigenous peoples 5 4 3 2 1 Indigenous people just want to lock themselves up in an artificially preserved time-warp or museum. 5 4 3 2 1 We have very little to learn from indigenous people. 5 4 3 2 1 Indigenous people are often no more in tune with nature than we are 5 4 3 2 1 Indigenous people are primitive. 5 4 3 2 1 Indigenous people should stop complaining about having been invaded or colonized, because people have been invaded and colonised throughout history. 5 4 3 2 1 Indigenous people deserve to hear about Jesus Christ. Strongly disagree Tend to disagree Not really sure Tend to agree Strongly agree 5 4 3 2 1 Indigenous people do not need their own set of rights. 5 4 3 2 1 This is not just one big issue because every single indigenous people is unique and distinct from all others. 5 4 3 2 1 The act of referring to them as ‘indigenous people’ is itself patronising and demeaning. 5 4 3 2 1 The way of life of indigenous people is no more valuable or praiseworthy than our own way of life.
  56. 56. The United Nations and Indigenous Peoples The United Nations has always been very involved with the issue of indigenous peoples. The concerns of indigenous peoples have been acknowledged in a number of documents and studies prepared over the years, and in the activities of the UN human rights organizations dealing, for example, with minorities, slavery, servitude and forced labour. In 1970, the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities recommended that a comprehensive study be made of the problem of discrimination against indigenous populations. In 1971, Mr. José R. Martínez Cobo (Ecuador) was appointed Special Rapporteur, to suggest measures for eliminating such discrimination. He reported to the Sub-Commission during the years 1981-1984. His report discussed a definition of indigenous peoples, the role of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, the elimination of discrimination, and basic human rights principles. It also dealt with areas of action in fields such as health, housing, education, language, culture, social and legal institutions, employment, land, political rights, religious rights and practices, and equality in the administration of justice. His conclusions, proposals and recommendations are an important milestone in the involvement of the United Nations in the human rights problems facing indigenous peoples. 1993 was declared an International Year for the World’s Indigenous Peoples and there then followed an ‘international decade for indigenous people’ from 1995 to 2004. In 2000 the UN Commission on Human Rights established a Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and the years 2005 to 2014 have been declared the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. There is a draft Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. What rights of indigenous peoples do you think the United Nations have put into their draft Declaration?
  57. 57. The United Nations and Indigenous Peoples On Thursday 29 th June 2006 the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and recommended its adoption by the General Assembly of the United Nations. You can find the Declaration on The Declaration contains 45 articles and is divided into 9 sections: Part 1. Fundamental Rights Part 2. Life and Security Part 3. Culture, Religion, and Language Laws Part 4. Education, Media, and Employment Part 5. Participation and Development Part 6. Land and Resources Part 7. Self Government and Indigenous Part 8. Implementation Part 9. Minimum Standards A useful simplified version of the declaration in plain language can be found on Was there any need for the indigenous peoples to be given their own set of rights? Are there any rights in the Declaration that they would not have had anyway from the Universal Declaration on Human Rights?
  58. 58. Pope John Paul II and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples On January 23 rd 1999, during a flight from Rome to Mexico, the Pope was asked by reporters about the problems in the Mexican state of Chiapas, where there had been violence since Zapatista guerrillas launched an uprising four years before to press for Indian rights. John Paul II said ``The indigenous people were the first owners of the land. There will be no solution until we recognize that the indigenous people were the first owners of the land ... The solution must be through dialogue,'' Pope John Paul II stated. He founded the John Paul II Institute for the Sahel, an indigenous people in Africa, in February of 1984, and the &quot;Populorum Progressio&quot; Foundation for the Indigenous Peoples of Latin America in February of 1992. In 1994 Pope John Paul II issued an official apology on behalf of the Catholic Church to indigenous peoples in the Dominican Republic. Pope John Paul II was the leader of the Roman Catholic Church from 1978 until 2005. Throughout his 27 year period in office he spoke out on hundreds of occasions on the subject of human rights. The issue of the rights of indigenous peoples was very close to his heart. John Paul II’s many trips around the world gave him the opportunity to come into close contact with indigenous peoples and to hear of their problems directly from the people.
  59. 59. Ecclesia in Oceania – The Church in Oceania An Apostolic Exhortation from Pope John Paul II November 22 nd 2001 The peoples of Oceania 6. The Synod gave recognition not only to a unique area spanning almost one-third of the earth's surface, but also to a large number of indigenous peoples , whose joyful acceptance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is evident in their enthusiastic celebration of the message of salvation. 7.These peoples form a unique part of humanity in a unique region of the world. Geographically, Oceania comprises the continent of Australia, many islands, big and small, and vast expanses of water. The sea and the land, the water and the earth meet in endless ways, often striking the human eye with great splendour and beauty. Although Oceania is geographically very large, its population is relatively small and unevenly distributed, though it comprises a large number of indigenous and migrant peoples. For many of them, land is most important: its fertile soil or its deserts, its variety of plants and animals, its abundance or scarcity. Others, though living on the land, are more dependent on the rivers and the sea. The water allows them to travel from island to island, from shore to shore. The great variety of languages - 700 in Papua New Guinea alone - together with the vast distances between islands and areas make communication across the region a particular challenge. In many parts of Oceania, travelling by sea and air is more important than travelling by land. Communication can still be slow and difficult as in earlier times, though nowadays in many areas information is transmitted instantly thanks to new electronic technology.
  60. 60. A Catholic organisation working to protect the rights of indigenous peoples Chile Land distribution is unequal and indigenous peoples have suffered as a result, being driven onto small areas of infertile land Governance and Rights Children march for peace in Colombia Brazil Mira Rosa with produce from the farm she and her husband set up on a legalised settlement Clare Short in the Philippines Find out about the stories behind these images
  61. 61. 6 Conclusions You are now aware of some secular documents in which human rights are enshrined: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 The European Convention of Human Rights 1950 Convention on the Rights of the Child 1959 Convention on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2006 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees 1954
  62. 62. Catholic Social Teaching on Human Rights You have been introduced to three major documents of Catholic Social Teaching Pacem in Terris ‘ Peace on Earth’ 1963 Pope John XXIII The Catechism of the Catholic Church 1994 Laborem Exercens On Human Work 1981 Centesimus Annus The 100 th Year 1991 The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church 2004 You can find out about the Social Teaching of Pope John Paul II in Sollicitudo Rei Socialis The Social Concern of the Church 1987
  63. 63. You have gained a map of human rights… physical cultural religious civil / political social economic legal personal
  64. 64. ...and an awareness of human rights abuses physical cultural religious civil / political social economic legal personal racism totalitarianism dictatorship rigged elections detention without trial invasion of privacy political prisoners religious persecution child soldiers land mines arms race and arms trade war and armed conflict mock trials and show trials torture prejudice and discrimination lack of access to water lack of health care corruption unjustly low wages street children homelessness destruction of the environment cultural imperialism intimidation bribery censorship of the media genocide starvation
  65. 65. The Universal Declaration does raise some critical questions, such as: <ul><li>Is the Universal Declaration truly universal, or is it just an invention of western liberal democracies? </li></ul><ul><li>Has the whole emphasis on individual rights damaged society by eroding our sense of social solidarity and our sense of duty to our fellow human beings? </li></ul><ul><li>Is democracy the only acceptable system of government, or are there other systems equally acceptable from a moral point of view? </li></ul><ul><li>Do lists of human rights do anything to help, or are they just useless words which make us feel better? </li></ul><ul><li>If awareness of human rights is growing, then why are human rights violations and violent conflicts getting worse and more widespread? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there really a need for the separate conventions on refugees, the rights of the child and the rights on indigenous peoples? </li></ul>‘ The Universal Declaration represents a giant leap forward in the social, political, cultural and moral development of the human race.’ Do you agree?
  66. 66. The Church’s Social Teaching does raise some critical questions, such as: <ul><li>Have Christians been guilty of human rights violations throughout the last 2000 years? </li></ul><ul><li>Did Jesus Christ offer any meaningful critique of the political oppression of his day? </li></ul><ul><li>Is standing up for human rights a necessary and normal part of being a Christian in the world today? </li></ul><ul><li>Should Christians be signing up to the human rights agenda when human rights are a purely secular concept? </li></ul><ul><li>Should the study of human rights be part of a course in religious studies? </li></ul><ul><li>Did Christians help or hinder in the historical development of human rights? </li></ul>‘ The Church is the greatest champion of human rights in the world today and Christians are the most significant group working on a practical level to promote and defend the rights of vulnerable people.’ Do you agree?
  67. 67. Assignment <ul><li>“ How can religious leaders and communities help to resolve the issues involving asylum seekers?” </li></ul><ul><li>(Recommended length 1,500-2,000 words) </li></ul><ul><li>Hints! </li></ul><ul><li>Try to reflect the complexity of the issues surrounding asylum seekers </li></ul><ul><li>Show that you have weighed up both sides of the argument </li></ul><ul><li>Include relevant quotations from scripture and from Catholic Social Teaching </li></ul>© 2006 Francis Mohan